8.45pm ToryDiary: Tory backbenchers to be the focus of tomorrow's Telegraph coverage Updated at 9.30pm as revelations about James Arbuthnot emerge; and at 10pm with disclosures about a further clutch of MPs including Douglas Hogg, Michael Ancram, David Davis, Sir Michael Spicer and Deputy Speaker, Sir Alan Haselhurst; and at 10.45pm when "sources close to David Cameron" reportedly suggest disciplinary action is being considered
3.30pm WATCH: Nick Griffin is painted as Hitler in new anti-BNP ad REMOVED BY YOUTUBE FOR UNKNOWN REASONS
11.30am Latest from Parliament:
- How many people have had compulsory electro-convulsive therapy?
- Government offers tentative support for Peter Ainsworth's Green Energy Bill
Rob Wilson MP on Platform: Labour’s "idle" ex-Ministers are letting Parliament down
Telegraph spotlights the expense claims of David Cameron's top team
"Leaked documents revealed how David Cameron's millionaire frontbench maintained lavish lifestyles at taxpayers' expense. The Tory leader rapidly apologised to voters after senior members of the Shadow Cabinet were found to have charged for the installation of a chandelier and maintenance of a country tennis court." – Daily Mail
The Telegraph's allegations against senior Conservatives:
- David Willetts billed the taxpayer £115 plus VAT for workmen to replace 25 light bulbs at his second home in west London
- Chris Grayling claimed thousands of pounds to renovate a flat in central London – bought with a mortgage funded at taxpayers’ expense – even though his constituency home is less than 17 miles from the House of Commons
- Oliver Letwin claimed more than £2,000 for a leaking pipe to be replaced under his tennis court
- Alan Duncan claimed thousands of pounds for his garden but stopped after agreeing with the fees office that his expenditure “could be considered excessive”
- Cheryl Gillan submitted a Sainsbury’s receipt for £27.25 to support her claim for groceries last year that included £4.47 of pet food
- "Francis Maude, the shadow minister for the cabinet office, attempted to claim the mortgage interest on his family home in Sussex. This arrangement was rejected by the Fees Office. Two years later, Mr Maude bought a flat in London a few minutes walk from a house he already owned. He then rented out the other property and began claiming on the new flat: the taxpayer has since covered nearly £35,000 in mortgage interest payments."
- "Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, spent thousands of pounds renovating a thatched Tudor country cottage shortly before selling it. He redecorated inside and out with premium paint at a cost of £2,000 and re-shingled the driveway. He then “flipped” his expenses to a Georgian flat in London where he claimed for thousands of pounds in furnishings including a Laura Ashley sofa."
- Michael Gove spent thousands on furnishing his London home before “flipping” his Commons allowance to a new property in his Surrey constituency
> On ToryDiary yesterday evening we posted a defence of Michael Gove
Tomorrow's revelations may be more difficult for the Conservative Party
"Even now there do not seem to be any truly devastating disclosures about Tory MPs in the public domain. But The Daily Telegraph is yet to publish claims by all of the “old guard”. That could still provide some unwelcome surprises later this week." – FT
Labour plots to keep MPs’ allowances under wraps in the future – Times
Washington's doors swing open for George Osborne
"George Osborne today returned home from a three-day visit to Washington where he held meetings with Tim Geithner, the Treasury Secretary, and Larry Summers, director of the White House economic council. The Shadow Chancellor also had formal talks with Ben Bernanke, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, World Bank President Robert Zoellick and IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, as well as using his attendance at the White House correspondents' dinner on Saturday night to speak to Mr Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel." – Times
ConservativeHome comment: "It wasn't so long ago that senior Tories couldn't get meetings with any senior American politicians. On his visit to Washington DC George Osborne had substantial meetings with nearly ever senior member of the Obama administration. George Osborne heaped high praise on Obama in yesterday's Sunday Telegraph. A little too much praise for our liking. No conservative should get too close to President Obama's activist, big spending style of government."
Philip Johnston worries about the 'professionalisation' of politics
"The professionalism of the political classes is another change of recent years. The number of backbenchers with their own entourage of researchers and assistants is a new phenomenon. The old notion of the MP as representative of his or her constituents is being supplanted by the concept of MP as full-time political animal. Unfortunately, the efforts to reform the system of remuneration will accelerate this trend. Parliament voted recently to make MPs disclose full details of their outside earnings. This was justified on grounds of transparency – but is really motivated by an animus, especially on the Labour benches (though the Tories, fearing voter opprobrium, went along with it), to the idea of having a job outside Parliament." – Philip Johnston in The Telegraph
Miliband and Johnson may be the only ones with the moral authority to lead the party – Jackie Ashley in The Guardian
"A vote for the BNP is a vote for extremism and intolerance." – Times leader
Crime costs every Briton £3,000pa
"The annual cost of crime is now £3,000 for every household as a result of the abject failure of Labour's law and order policies, a report claims. That equates to £78billion, the equivalent of 20p on the basic rate of income tax. Meanwhile, the report warns a 'recessionary crimewave' is likely to send the cost soaring further. The Policy Exchange study, co-written by crime prevention expert Prof Irvin Waller, concludes: 'The Government's pledge to be tough on the causes of crime hasn't delivered.'" – Daily Mail
BBC Newsnight is facing a 15% budget cut – Guardian
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